The Downtowner Saloon & Steak House is a Fort Lauderdale landmark. Sure, it might not have the best neighbor (the county jail), but their view and location is total Florida.
It’s located right on the New River with a direct view of the Riverwalk complex along with the park next door. Add to that the parade of yachts and Water Taxi’s and this is a really cool spot to enjoy happy hour, grab some grub or just impress an out of town guest.
The building itself is old, but well maintained with a cool looking dining space. Two bars run along the outer walls and the décor keeps things interesting with a very eclectic look. They do a good job mixing both the ‘historic’ and ‘modern’ feel.
They have a nice outside patio with tables and stools that run along the outfacing bar. The view there is awesome, BUT the best seats sit just across the side street and are located directly on the boat docks! You can’t get any closer to the New River without swimming and we couldn’t pass up this view. We picked a table and were quickly greeted by our server.
The menu is large with the usual suspects here from sandwiches to salads with a nice appetizer selection. They so have some fun with the menu and deviate from the usual bar fare and bring in lots of seafood.
They have large entrees that offer some steaks and ribs too. We were here for lunch, so decided to get a few Hand Crafted Burgers and service was quick, with our orders coming out in maybe 15-20 minutes.
Hoodoo Voodoo Burger ($11) – Cajun seasoned burger patty (chuck, brisket & short rib blend) topped with bacon and blue cheese crumbles. If you are a regular reader of our reviews, you can probably guess who ordered this burger. We zeroed in on this one right away. It was a tasty blend of beef and cooked to a nice medium temperature and one of the juiciest ones he’s had in a while. Loved the overall flavor and char grilled taste, but thought that the ‘Cajun seasoning’ didn’t come through. The bacon was good along with all of the fresh toppings.
All American Turkey Burger ($11) – Topped with Gouda cheese, chipotle aioli and cilantro on toasted multigrain wheat bread. I don’t think I was paying attention to the description as when it was dropped off, the ‘toast’ threw me off. The wheat toast could have worked, but the toast was too dry. The turkey patty itself seemed to be made up of white meat and had some good flavoring, but it too was a bit too dry. The chipotle aioli helped a little and I could have went for a double helping. I didn’t notice any cilantro on the turkey burger as the menu stated, so that was a bit disappointing. I really liked Jeff’s burger and realized that I shouldn’t have tried to order the healthier option. The fries were the coated ‘extra crisp’ kind which we both don’t really care for. I think steak fries would have been a much better option.
While my All American Turkey Burger didn’t really deliver on the expectation, Jeff’s Hoodoo Voodoo Burger was GREAT. The service was friendly and prompt and with a view like this we will definitely be back to try more menu items.
The Downtowner Saloon & Steak House is located at 408 S Andrews Ave Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.